DIY & Tutorials

DIY Photo Filters

Photo Filters That Are Cheap and Easy to Make at Home

Prior to digital photo filter applications, such as Instagram, photographers used traditional lens filters.  Unfortunately, such lens can be prohibitively expensive, so we read an article on DIY photo filters (read the Photojojo article here) to help you revive your photos without breaking the bank.  The article featured 10 DIY photo filter ideas, but we chose our three favourites to share with you.

#1: Film Negative Filter

Unused bits of film negatives, such as the end pieces, can be use to transform the colours in your photographs.   Use the end of a colour film negative, where it transitions from light sensitive auburn to the muddy dark section at the very end.   Place this over your lens to produce an image of fantasy colours.  Grays turn purple and blues turn to gold.  Be careful though, as you can block quite a bit of light with this filter – make sure you have adjusted your camera’s light settings to compensate for the obstruction.

DIY used negative photo filter

#2:  Pantyhose Portrait

To soften the details of a portrait simply use and old pair of sheer panty hose.   Cut a section and pull the fabric tightly over the lens to add hazy and mysterious mood to you image.  This filter also can block a bit too much light, to fix this problem put a run in the stocking material to allow more light through.  Another tip is to use this filter strictly in the shade, when used in direct sunlight your subject will look washed out.

before pany hose photo filterDIY photo filter

#3 Sunglasses Gradient

Just like your eyes, your lens can be strained in high contrast light.   Especially at sunrise and sunset it is difficult for your camera to capture the setting without overexposing or underexposing elements of the image.  To combat this issue, use a tinted pair of sunglasses over the lens.  In the example below, the glasses had a darker gradient at the top that faded toward the bottom.  The resulting image has more balanced lighting throughout, helping to subdue the sky and highlight the previously underexposed parts.

sunglass photo filterDIY sunglass photo filter

Go forth and experiment with these DIY photo filters, using things you can find at home! See what other homemade filters you can come up with and please share!

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